I had a craving for plantains. I had never prepared them before, but the craving must be fulfilled.
I love plantains. When I first had them, they were a starchy, sweet, delicious surprise to my palette. You can find them prepared a lot in Cuban food and tropical climate cuisines.
Where do I even get a “Plantain” in Iowa?
Plantains can be purchased in your local grocery store in the produce section. I feel the more yellow and black, the better. Plantains have more starch and they are more like a potato than a banana. They can be referred to as a “cooking banana” instead of a “dessert banana” as we are commonly more accustomed.
If you do have a green plantain, you have a few options. 1. Fry them Twice – Green plantains need to have the peel sliced off rather than peeled, and need to be fried twice. Taking a step to smash them after the first frying to make them palatable. 2. Plan Ahead – you can just purchase them a few days ahead of your meal prep and let those green plantains ripen.
I used the recipe that came with my Instapot for the pulled kalua pork, but I decided I needed to add some more ingredients from the fridge. Peppers, onion, pineapple, garlic, oregano, and some parsley. Why not?
Chad bought this Instapot for me a year or so ago, he said it was all the rage online. I wasn’t so sure, but when I learned that I could have delicious pulled pork in 90 minutes with little prep and clean up. I was sold.
My friend, Rory, uses it to make chocolate lava cake and to bake bread. I haven’t been that adventurous yet, but maybe soon…
The protein was ready, so now onto the plantains.
Peel them, slice them on the bias, smash them slightly (meat tenderizer), and lightly fry.
I pan-fried mine in a cast iron pan. Medium-high heat, careful not to burn as the sugars caramelize quickly. Ensure to prep some paper towels to drain. Salt to finish the fried plantains.
Serve with kalua pork, white rice, and black beans. If they last that long.